Bulletin 201 November 2015 Planning for Occupant Evacuations
- Posted at: September 25, 2021 03:03:13

It is critical to review the fire and life safety equipment listed in the audit summary of the approved fire safety plan (FSP). This includes re-reading sections pertaining to the sequence of operation of smoke control devices, fire dampers and any automatic or semi-automatic means of fire control in the building. Equally important is implementing the sections of the FSP that pertain to the maintenance of the fire alarm system, its detection devices, public address system, or other means of alerting occupants so they remain in top working condition.

An FSP is a customized building manual which describes occupant evacuation procedures and the advance preparation required for the activities and events that occur just before the fire emergency starts, or during the first few minutes afterwards. These include floor warden and supervisory personnel roles and responsibilities, as well as exit routes to the outside assembly area or pre-designated meeting area(s), which must be well away from the building. The meeting area must not hamper access by fire-responders and must allow fire wardens, supervisory staff and building managers to easily account for all of their occupants. If there are any occupants with hearing or vision impairment, or persons who are physically limited, wheelchair bound, etc., special procedures are required to be in place to alert them and assist with their evacuation from the building. The FSP is to list all regular occupants with special needs requiring assistance. When the fire alarm sounds or other building-wide emergency is announced, all occupants should immediately leave the building by proceeding in an orderly fashion to the nearest exit. If fire or smoke blocks this exit, occupants should be able to proceed to an alternate exit, also described in the FSP. The first priority is to ensure that occupants safely exit the building. Regulations do require that once a fire emergency is underway there must be a safe means of evacuation for all occupants. Building management must maintain clear paths of escape, a sufficient number of suitably protected exit ways, emergency lighting, and signage. Occupants must know the location of all emergency exits and alternate paths to safety. All building fire safety plans must be updated at intervals no greater than 12 months. In the event major changes have been made to the premises, the fire safety plan must be updated and re-submitted to the City for re-acceptance and/or re-approval.

This article was contributed by Firepoint Inc, serving the GTA since 1997, developing fire department approved fire safety plans for newly constructed and existing buildings. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, the bulletin publishers and authors do not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current and shall not be liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the bulletin information. Bulletin reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the written consent of Firepoint Inc. Copyright 2021 – All Rights Reserved. See www.firepoint.ca or call 905-874-9400.

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